About 11 human rights and media freedom groups have called on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani not to reappoint Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi, whom rights advocates have accused of involvement in the killings of dissidents in 1988, Radio Free Europe reported on Saturday.
"Ahead of your upcoming second term that begins on August 5, we call upon you to appoint a new Minister of Justice with a proven commitment to the principles of human rights," said the statement from the groups, which included Human Rights Watch (HRW), the New Haven, Connecticut-based Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, and the London-based Small Media.
In their appeal to Rouhani, the rights groups also called on his government to investigate the allegations against Pourmohammadi "in a serious manner."
The executions were carried out in the last days of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, following an order by Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini.
According to some reports, more than 5,000 members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), leftist groups, students, and others were executed in the span of a few months.
Rouhani won a second five-year term by a wide margin in a May 19 election.
In a May campaign speech, Rouhani said that voters did not want someone who in the four decades since Iran's revolution has only known how to "execute and jail.”